As new mother, I didn’t have any thoughts on media use, aside from having always been strictly against TV before age of 2.
I figured we had a while to go until other media use ( computers, iPhones, video games) become a concern. However, in our world of virtually living on our iPhones (for both me and my husband who only last month switched to Android, sucker!), I underestimated the power it would have on our suddenly aware baby.
It makes total sense: they are designed to mimic their parents and when seeing us with our iPhones in our hands or pockets half the time, Alexis decided that she wanted to see what the fuss was all about. At first it was all about just pressing the HOME button for fun. Then I got a “bright” idea to download a baby app (Sound Touch). It was the end of life as we know it. Enter the world of Toddler iPhone use.
I think it was around 7-8 months when she fell in love with it. She loved the Sound Touch app and it was pretty “educational” AND in Russian, so I felt she was getting enough good exposure for it to be ok, passable, even though I wasn’t happy about how passionate (read: obsessed) she was about it. It was one of her first words, after mama and dada: TANG! (for “thing” as that is how we had to call it after she figured out the word “phone”). She still calls it that at 18 months and never switched to the actual word for the phone.
For a while, I felt iffy about letting her use the iPhone. I mean, she was only using things that were beneficial to her during the times where a more beneficial parental interaction wasn’t possible, but I still didn’t like how MUCH she enjoyed listening to her app pronounce words, pictures of which she pressed. Soon came the discovery of Dr Seuss books and that made me feel slightly better about giving her the phone since she would be listening to a book, of all things… I battled like this for months, going back and forth between “Should I never give her the phone again?” and “She loves it and the apps are harmless (no fast scene switching, age appropriate content)“.
It wasn’t until just recently though that I finally realized how great some of the iPhone use can be and despite my fear it was greatly beneficial to her on many levels, including learning the whole English and Russian alphabet (both sounds and letter names) on her own by using the apps.